There is a lot to look back on from 2017 in Cleveland. We have a lot of fun putting together our year-in-review features and reminiscing about some of the great stories that we were privileged to cover.
We can also start to look ahead and see what things we should look for in 2018. So keep these on your radar screen!
1. Are there MORE changes coming to the Cleveland Browns?
The Browns are on a collision course with an 0-16 season and despite giving head coach Hue Jackson a pledge of his return in 2018, it would not be out of the question for owner Jimmy Haslam to change his mind. There have been rumors about Jackson returning to the Bengals, and Dorsey has also been rumored to want to hire his own coach.
One other thing to keep your eyes on: The Browns will be very busy in the 2018 NFL Draft. They will have two picks in the first round (potentially both in the top 5), and three more in Round 2.
2. Frank Jackson will begin his fourth term as Cleveland's mayor
After defeating Zack Reed in November's election, Jackson, 71, will become the first Cleveland mayor to serve four four-year terms. During his campaign, he spoke about continuing to invest in ways to make Cleveland a favorable choice to live.
Jackson will also be under pressure to curb the plague of crime on the city's streets. County prosecutor Michael O'Malley recently declared that there's "an epidemic of youth violence" in the city following the shooting death of 12-year-old Abdel Latif Bashiti on Black Friday.
"People are suffering and having anxiety for legitimate reasons," Jackson told our Russ Mitchell after his election win. "Our bureaucracy does not move at the speed it should to address their concerns."
3. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies are back in Cleveland
Mark your calendars for April 14. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Cleveland's Public Hall.
This year's class is loaded: Bon Jovi, Dire Straits, The Cars, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Jon Bon Jovi is excited to be heading to Cleveland with the rest of his bandmates:
By the way, if you can't make it to Public Hall, an edited version will air on HBO at a later date.
4. There is a 'decision' in LeBron James' future
Free agency is coming again for the 4-time NBA MVP.
"It hasn't changed," James said of his intention to finish his career in Cleveland back in September. "That's why I sit up here today, still in this uniform, still ready to lead this franchise to a championship and put us in a position where we can still be successful."
But while James says that he's committed to the Cavs, he's also admitted that he's not looking past the 2017-18 season. And it just so happens that's when he can opt out of his contract with Cleveland and test the waters of free agency.
Many members of the national media, whom I've dubbed as 'carnival barkers,' can't help but try to stir up rumors that LBJ will be heading elsewhere. LeBron owns (or will soon own) two properties in Brentwood, California, so naturally he must be bound for the Lakers. Business partner Maverick Carter addressed that point last month on The Dan Patrick Show.
In the meantime, Cavs fans should sit back and enjoy how well James is playing this season. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has been playing at an MVP level, meaning we can expect many highlights between now and June.
5. A year of political football is on the way
2018 will be highlighted by several key elections:
- Ohio governor (John Kasich is term-limited) with names like Mike DeWine, Jim Renacci, and Richard Cordray all declaring their candidacies.
- Sherrod Brown will look to retain his U.S. Senate seat
- All of Ohio's 16 U.S. congressional seats are up for grabs
- 17 Ohio Senate seats and all 99 Ohio House seats will be in play
- Key state positions such as Attorney General, Treasurer, and Secretary of State
The Primary Election is set for May 8. The General Election will be on November 6.